Medici’s “Joseph” tapestries on view at Palazzo Vecchio through February 15, 2016

Detail of Medici tapestry

Prince of Dreams: The Medici’s Joseph Tapestries by Pontormo and Bronzino

Il Principe dei sogni. Giuseppe negli Arazzi medicei di Pontormo e Bronzino

Through February 15, 2016 at the Palazzo Vecchio – Florence, ITALY 

Twenty exquisite tapestries depicting the stories and dreams of Joseph that were commissioned by Cosimo I de’Medici in the mid-16th century and destined to drape the walls of the Salone dei Duecento of the Palazzo Vecchio have been reunited after over 100 years and can be viewed in their original Florentine home through February 15, 2016.

The tapestries span an impressive 80 meters and represent some of the highest examples of Renaissance art and craftsmanship. The original cartoon designs were drawn by Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, and Francesco Salviati. They were then woven under the supervision of Flemish artists Jan Rost and Nicolas Karcher.

Inaugurated in 1553, the tapestries were on display for over a century, then put into storage. The 20 tapestries were last viewed all together in 1861, on the occasion of the unification of Italy. Ten pieces are currently kept in Florence, while the other ten ended up in Rome, when the Savoy family took them to decorate the Quirinale halls. In 1983 the tapestries were finally removed from the walls of the Salone dei Duecento to be studied for conservation purposes while restoration begun in 1985. The intervention was commissioned and completed by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure di Firenze, with the financial support of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and, later, of the Ente Cassa. Gucci has sponsored the current exhibition of the tapestries.

The exhibition has already toured this year to Rome (at the Quirinale) and Milan (at Palazzo Reale) with Florence being the last venue. After the end of the exhibition on February 15th, the tapestries permanently residing in Florence will be exhibited in rotation.

Read more: M.use Firenze

Palazzo Vecchio Museum
Piazza della Signoria, Florence – ITALY

Opening times

Entrance fee: 2€
Exhibit+Museum: 12€; reduced ticket 10€; “Cartafreccia” and “Freccia” train tickets with destination Florence up to 5 days before: 2 tickets at the cost of 1.

Catalogue: Segretariato Generale della Presidenza della Repubblica – Edited by Skira. Price: € 40,00.


About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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